2 weeks post ablation - strange feelings in chest.......advice please

Hi all,

Just wondering what other folks experiences are post ablation. I had ablation on 13th June and all is well so far ( fingers crossed). I felt pretty rough for the first 10 days - I actually think I had a virus prior to the ablation and this made my recovery worse. felt absolutely wiped out. I haven't had any AF but my chest feels tight and I have the same feeling of apprehension in my chest as I used to get just prior to AF - it's as though my heart is raring to go into AF but is being stopped in its tracks. My pulse feels as steady and strong as an Ox! I guess it's just the recovery process. I only found this site post ablation. I wish I had found it before as I was in AF 4-5 hours a day around days a week and it would have been great to get some support.

On reflection I don't think you can underestimate the recovery process. Obviously everyone is different but so much for most of the 'official advice' about being back to 'normal activities' after 2 days!!! I have now gone back to work ( so 2 weeks off) probably could have done with another week. I don't have a physical job but have found it difficult to get my head back into work mode. And feel tired easily,

But hopefully ablation has worked,

On another note I'm a mental health nurse and I don't think you can underestimate the psychological effects of AF. Like others I read on here I thought I was having panic attacks ( had a big AF episode last year - thought it was a panic attack as job was very stressful but ECG showed AF). I have always had palpitations- thought it was possibly linked to anxiety. I think when we go into undiagnosed AF stress hormones are released and makes us feel panicky as well. It's a chicken and egg thing. My Cardiologist is adamant stress has nothing to do with it! I'm not convinced. I know it's difficult to separate these things - needs more research I guess,


18 Replies

  • Hi Cath, I had mine 2 days after you and I was fine until this Monday. I've been in and out of AF and feel wiped out, hope it passes soon but I guess and hope it's just part of the recovery. I was meant to go back to work on Monday but I've taken another week now

  • Hi Steve,

    yes I remember reading your post - Take it easy and I hope you feel better soon. I'm sure it's all part of the healing process but hard to be patient!

  • Hi Cathy. Welcome to the site - a great source of information and reassurance.

    You don't say whether or not you had a general anaethetic or sedation. If the former then it can take up to 6 moths to recover. Tiredness is the main problem.

    I would take serious issue with your Cardiologist about stress not affecting AF. He is talking total rubbish. Stress is my only identifiable trigger. He needs to go back to medical school for a refresher course.

    As you will repeatedly see here, your heart has been burned and will take 3 months to heal. You need to be kind to yourself over the next few months to aid the healing process.

    Best wishes.

  • Hi Jennydog,

    Sorry I should have said I had a GA and actually I had another GA in December last year so probably both have taken their toll. I agree I do think stress is a trigger. I think sometimes they say these things to reassure. I will be kinder to myself!!

  • Cathy

    The 2 days quoted is the minimum recovery time from the actual sedation or the actual general anaesthetic and not from the procedure itself!!!! The UKs DVLA states anyone who has had an ablation must not drive for a MINIMUM of 48 hours after having fully completed the recovery. However people must always ask their EP because many state a minimum of 7 days (mine did).

    The heart takes 3 to 6 months to settle down after an ablation since it is angry at being burnt or frozen. I was very clearly told at pre-admission checks to do nothing at all for the first week except the tv remote, phone and iPad and not a computer. Second week the same except can add some gentle walking. Unfortunately some hospitals give little advice.

  • Hi Peter,

    Thanks for your reply,

    My EP said 2 days before I could drive but there was no way I felt up to it till about a week.No, I know it takes 3 months or more to recover from the actual procedure. I guess I'm surprised that my chest hurts more this week but I guess that's the healing process. I wonder if any of the EP's or Cardiologists read this forum and if they do what they think of our musings?!!

  • There is one cardiologist who does. I think he is semi retired. His angle is looking at the more wholistic approach.

  • Very interested in this. I am recently diagnosed with AF but have a naturally low heat beat and am worried they might try to raise it. I have been very comfortable with my 40-48 beats for 70 years. What does this cardiologist recommend? I am aiming for weight-loss and diet. Will welcome all advice.

    Thank you all for your helpful and comforting posts.


  • Hi Cath

    I'm 12 weeks post ablation and still feel as though I am recovering. I think it took a good month for me to start feeling remotely "normal" and to get any energy back - even though I have been in NSR all the time. One thing you'll hear time and time again in this forum is that everyone is different but from my point of view there was no way I could have gone back to work after 2 weeks. Perhaps I'm a total wuss though!! I am really lucky that I can work from home ( obviously you can't do this - and also I imagine your job is fairly stressful at the best of times!) - so I did that for quite a while.

    Having said all that I now feel a thousand times better than I did pre-ablation - I just think it is a very personal thing and it would be foolish to rush back to normal activity before you are ready.

    I also agree 100% with what you say about anxiety - it plays a huge part and should be taken into account by your EP!

    Good luck with it all and take it easy!


  • Hi Ruth- thanks for your reply. I teach nurses so my job is not as full on as it would be in practice ( the stress is the usual busyness of too much work and office politics!!) So I can work at home with prep etc. Work are supportive so that is good and I probably could have taken another week off but just fear the amount of work I would have gone back to! It is good to hear about your recovery even though we are all different. I think I'll let my boss know that although I'm back to work I'm not firing on all cylinders!

  • Hi Cathy, I agree with you about the stress and emotional impact AF has. It has certainly been my biggest hurdle to try to overcome. After two and a half years since being diagnosed, I am just beginning to relax about it and not be in a continuous state of red alert.

    After my ablation last Nov I was all over the place emotionally and physically. I would say it has taken me more than six months to feel like I am properly beginning to feel recovered. We are all different and don't react to things in textbook ways. I remember reading the advice booklet from the hospital saying that after two weeks most people are feeling back to normal!

    It sounds like you are a strong and positive person, and I'm sure your job has given you good insight into how you are feeling. Positive thinking wins!

  • Looking forward to my ablation - sometime in October or November I think. I had 13 trips to A&E during April and May, each time ending with a chemical cardioversion using Adenosine. Not very pleasant. Now on daily Verapimil and rivoraxaban . I get feelings of impending doom 2 or 3 times each day, but it seems to be stopped just as the heart rate goes through 105 bpm. Then get out of breath and dizzy. Not nice but if I sit down and put my legs up, it seems to pass in 30 minutes or so. Thank goodness I have been able to join this group. They say I have SVT but I think I may have AF as well.

  • Sounds like you have had a rough time Snag - keep positive and hopefully your ablation will help sort you out.

  • Cathy.......hope you are feeling more like yourself now :) I had my cyro June 2nd.

    I agree totally about the stress and inflamation in the body during recovery process. Our cortisol levels must be off the charts!!! Just try to relax and do deep breathing.

    I have gone back to yoga and have started running again. Did 2miles but experienced rapid breathing and fast pulse. Just on Eliquis.

    It is hard to be patient and let healing take its course .......


  • Hi

    Am feeling better everyday thanks but still on all the meds I was on before so a little artificial I guess. No AF though so that is good. Glad you are feeling good. Take it easy and don't rush things! :)

  • Hi Cathy,

    I had my ablation on 9th May and was taken off all the meds, except Eliquis, on that day. Do you know why you were told to stay on all your meds?


  • Hi Vince,

    Sorry for delay in reply. I went to see my EP last week for first visit since ablation and all good. So with regards to meds he has taken me off the Riveroxaban and reduced the flecanaide to 50mg twice daily and kept me on the bisoprolol 2.5mg. Plan is to stop Flecanaide in August but keep on bisoprolol for a few months. Why? I think it is just to be sure and I guess each EP has their preference and protocol.

    Nice to be on reduced meds though- don't feel so fuzzy headed....


  • Why has he stopped the Anticoagulation?

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